NFL Lockout: When will it end?

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Some are calling it the final countdown and hoping that there will be pro football in the fall. While the owners have come to an agreement, the nearly 1900 players have not.

It is Day 128 of the lockout.

With just the Oakland Raiders saying no, the NFL owners approved a potential labor deal 31-0.

Leaving the players on the defense. They have yet to vote.

Much of the lockout talk surrounds pay for rookie players.

Former Green Bay Packers player, DJ Jones said, "Paying an astronomical price to a young man who has a celebrated collegiate career but has not taken a snap in the National Football League is a slap in the face to a veteran free agent who has made a pro bowl or had a good career and has a contract issue."

Last year 1st choice rookie, Sam Bradford, signed a $78 million contract with the St. Louis Rams. $50 million of that guaranteed even before Bradford's first play.

Directly affected this year will be number one overall draft pick, National Champion quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner from Auburn, Cam Newton. When all is said and done, he will receive significantly less than his counterpart a year ago.

The lockout is effecting more than present players.

Jones said some of the men who laid the ground work for him do not even have health care. "You would not believe with all the billions of dollars that are being made in the NFL today that players, guys who played before now, are having a hard time with health care and other issues related to retirement."

Retired players have said they do not want their negotiations to hold up the game.

Coming to an agreement means a lot to more than just the billionaire owners and millionaire players. "There are concession people, parking attendants, staff that work on those teams and reception," explained Jones.

The retired player believes when the first ball is snapped in September, people will forget the arguments and unpleasantness and cheer like they always have.

Unfortunately, there already has been one casualty of the NFL lockout. The annual Hall of Fame game, which kicks off the pre-season has been canceled.  Slated to play in this year's game was last year's 1st overall pick, Sam Bradford for the St. Louis Rams against the Chicago Bears.

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